In late 2014 lasalocid was mistakenly distributed to more than 100 farms in at least 8 states. One of those farms, Sietsema Farms, suffered 50,000 turkeys mortalities as a result, and was forced to dispose of those birds and 450 tons of contaminated feed. In addition, 20,000 hogs were fed lasalocid-contaminated feed, and were sent to market after a 28-day withdrawal period.
So we know what happened to one farm that received the lasalocid contaminant. What about the 100+ other farms?
Well, we know that Sietsema Farms received the contaminant from Restaurant Recycling Services, and we know that Restaurant Recycling Services had other customers. Indeed, a FOIA request made by Restaurant Recylcing Services to the FDA includes a list of 12 of their customers, any of which may also have received the contaminant. That list is below, and is especially significant because the companies listed there produce so much food: New Fashion Pork produces 1,200,000 hogs, Smith Turkey Farms produces 600,000 turkeys, and Trillium Farms produces 3,000,000,000 eggs, every year. If the lasalocid contaminant was indeed distributed by Restaurant Recycling Services to these farms, then the 50,000 turkeys and 20,000 hogs impacted at Sietsema Farms may be the tip of the iceberg of lasalocid contamination.
It seems important to note that the lasalocid contamination poses risks not only to the farms involved, but also to those who consume meat and eggs from affected animals. Lasalocid is known to accumulate in eggs and tissues when fed to chickens, for example, and so might reasonably be expected to be in the meat and eggs of the birds that are fed this drug. This is testable, but unfortunately, as the Michigan Small Farm Council recently reported, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development failed to test any food samples in 2014 or 2015 for lasalocid, despite their knowledge of widespread contamination of animal feed with this drug.
Restaurant Recycling Services. LLC Customer List:
Roanoke Milling, Co
New Fashion Pork
Switz City, IN
Poll Farms, Inc.
Smith Turkey Farms
Street La Crosse
Pearl Valley Eggs
Pearl City, IL